SFU People in the News

February 21, 2012

Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations (PAMR).
This edition is a daily roundup that lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m., Monday, February 20, to 9:30 a.m. today, Tuesday, February 21.

SFU vision strategy | Science | Build SFU | Middle East | Pornography | Athletics


  • The Vancouver Sun focused on two students – Richard Loat and Stephanie Wong – in its story about the launch of SFU’s new strategic vision. The paper said Loat – who uses social media to drive his charitable cause, Five Hole for Food – exemplifies the new vision, which is focused on community engagement. "Having professors that are active in the space that they're teaching in and open to incorporating real-life examples has been huge for me," Loat said. "It's this mutual learning model where I can talk to my prof about something I'm doing and he'll table it for the class ... you sort of help shape the curriculum.” OMNI TV, Ming Pao Daily, and 24 Hours Vancouver also covered the launch event.
    Full story (The Vancouver Sun):


  • The message coming out of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference this past weekend is that science is under siege, reports Agence France Presse.”It’s about persuading people to believe in science, at a time when disturbing numbers don’t,” SFU president Andrew Petter said in the story.
    Full story (Yahoo! News):
  • With the 2012 AAAS conference winding down in Vancouver, Claire Cupples gave CBC Radio’s On the Coast host Stephen Quinn her take on the importance of science education. The SFU Faculty of Science dean’s interview was one of several that she gave to CBC talk shows across the country about the importance of a science education. Cupples stressed that community projects that engage the public in learning about science are key to building appreciation of the discipline. “I think outreach activities like SFU’s Spooktacular and Science Alive! and Starry Nights that get people learning science in a fun way,” are invaluable and demonstrate SFU’s community engagement, said Cupples. She did eight interviews with CBC Radio stations across Canada, from Newfoundland to B.C.
  • Science Codex published an SFU news release promoting SFU statistician Rick Routledge’s AAAS presentation about what layers of charcoal in lake-bottom sediment can tell us about an area’s forest fire history. "A major fire will generate an influx of small charcoal particles," explains Routledge. "If you take a core of sediment from the lake bottom, by sifting down through the layers, a researcher can use the charcoal abundance in successive layers to gain insight on fire history in the vicinity of the lake."
    Full story:
  • e! Science News published an SFU news release about SFU archaeology professor Mark Collard’s talk at AAAS about how climate change impacts human evolution. His team’s research suggests environmental variation significantly influenced the number and intricacy of food-gathering tools that historical hunter-gatherers made. "The basic pattern," explains Collard, "is that people living in harsh, risky environments, such as the Arctic, produced and used many more complex tools than people living in less harsh and risky environments, such as tropical rainforests. Food gathering tools make up a large part of known early archaeological records. So our findings are providing us with a way to track the impact of climate change on human evolution.”
    Full story:
  • SFU geologist John Clague spoke to BBC News about the controversial technique called “fracking” that is used to extract natural gas. Critics claim that pressurized fluids underground during the process “can find their way into water courses and drinking supplies, and also trigger small earthquakes.” BBC News asked Clague about documented observations of spatial and temporal coincidences between fracking and earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, near Fort Nelson, B.C. "To my knowledge, the Horn River area of northeastern British Columbia – which is an example in my talk of where fracking coincides with earthquakes – is not particularly earthquake prone," Clague says. "Yet there are documented observations in this area of fluid pressures causing rocks that are near the threshold of failure to slip, triggering earthquakes. Crustal rocks can be brought to the point of failure by natural forces."
    Full story:


  • The Simon Fraser Student Society will hold an online referendum next month to ask students if they’re in favour of financing a $65-million project to build a 2,500-seat outdoor stadium and add 100,000 sq. ft. of space to the Burnaby campus. The new space would provide a facility for student clubs, teams and groups, as well as social space for students, staff and faculty, reports the Burnaby NewsLeader. "I think what's ingenious about this particular proposal is it's taking a central part of our campus, repurposing and really making it a hub for student engagement and student activity," said Tim Rahilly, SFU’s VP-students and international. The Burnaby NOW and Metro News Vancouver also covered this story.
    Full story (Burnaby NewsLeader):


  • SFU international studies professor Tamir Moustafa offered his opinion about the transitional period occurring in Egypt as various groups jockey for position in determining the country’s future. Moustafa told TheNational that the road map laid out by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) has given it a far greater ability to influence the country’s constitution. "Power will not be transferred to civilian authorities until after the constitution is complete, placing the military in a much stronger position to exert formal and informal pressure on the shape of the new constitution," Moustafa said.
    Full story:


  • In a series called Porn Anthology, Salon explains the science behind some of pornography’s most popular conventions. In one article, it spoke with Cindy Patton, a professor of sociology, anthropology and women’s studies, about the popularity of the “money shot” in the porn industry. Patton suggests viewers want proof that the pleasure they’re seeing performed on screen is authentic, the online magazine says.
    Full story:


  • The accolades keep coming for SFU women’s basketball standout Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe as she was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s (GNAC) Co-Player of the Week. The Clan forward has had a dominating season and scored 52 points and grabbed 26 rebounds in two games last week, according to a SFU Athletics news release.
  • SFU’s swim team brought home eight medals from last weekend’s Western Canadian Championships. Dmitar Ivanov won two silver medals and also set SFU records in the 100-metre and 200-metre events.
    SFU Athletics news release:




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